“ Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I amhe.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. “
“ Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I amhe. “
It is interesting that again Jesus said “ I am “.
The Greek reads that Jesus again said “ ego eimi “ translated “ I am “.
If you remember in my earlier study we learned that when Jesus came to His disciples walking on Lake Galilee in the storm He told them “ I am.”
“ But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid. “ John 6:20
What is translated “ It is I; “, in the Greek actually reads again “ ego eimi “ - meaning,
“ I am “.
Being God, Jesus told Moses;
“ And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. “ Exodus 3:14
Jesus told His disciples again later the same thing about telling them things ahead of time so that when it does happen they will remember and believe Him;
“ And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe. “ John 14:29
“ But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you. “ John 16:4
“ Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. “
Jesus also said;
“ He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me. “ Luke 10:16
“ And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have doneitunto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have doneitunto me. “ Matthew 25:40
“ Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye diditnot to one of the least of these, ye diditnot to me. “ Matthew 25:45
Obviously, the overall relationship is that believers in Jesus are connected to God through Jesus Christ His only begotten Son.
Those who are not believers in Jesus are not connected to God.
I will continue with verse 21 in the next study.
“ If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation. And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, “
“ If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation. “
These Jewish leaders were so full of hatred for Jesus they could not make a consistent statement that made sense.
While they said;
“ all men will believe on him: “
they went on to say that the Romans would destroy them;
“ and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation. “
which obviously meant the Romans would not believe in Jesus either.
When we have a heart full of hatred it causes us to not be able to think straight.
Even in not leaving Jesus alone, Rome later still came and destroyed Israel to the point whoever wasn’t killed was scattered literally to the wind.
“ And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, “
When they later took Jesus, John, the writer of the book we are studying, reminds us who Caiaphas is;
“ Then the band and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus, and bound him,
And led him away to Annas first; for he was father in law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year.
Now Caiaphas was he, which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people. “ John 18:12-14
This captain was a commander of 1000 soldiers. It was one of 6 groups attached to a legion. The Romans at the Jews’ request, got involved in the arrest of Jesus going on the word of the Jews that Jesus was a threat.
Annas might have been head of the Sanhedrin. He had been appointed high priest more than once and had 5 sons and a son-in-law who had also held this position.
Caiaphas’ position as priest was no longer for life as it was originally. In the law priests were initially in this position for life but now it became a one year term. The Romans got politically involved and chose who they wanted in this position.
According to Josephus, Caiaphas’ name was Joseph and his surname was Caiaphas.
Surnames are not uncommon in the Bible.
“ One shall say, I am the LORD'S; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another shall subscribe with his hand unto the LORD, and surname himself by the name of Israel. “ Isaiah 44:5
“ Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; “ Matthew 10:3
“ And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter: “ Acts 10:5
“ And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark. “ Acts 15:37
In the verses of our study we will learn that Caiphas passed the death sentence on Jesus and therefore was not able later to be His judge.
However, if Jesus had been judged by rules of justice He would never have been crucified.
It is interesting that God used Caiaphas, an unbeliever to prophesy about Jesus’ death.
He rightly started out acknowledging their willful blind ignorance in saying;
" Ye know nothing at all, "
I will continue with verse 50 in the next study.
“ Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles. “
“ Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles. “
If you are like me, there are times when I’m doing something so wrong that I stop and ask myself - “ What am I doing…?
The Jewish leaders got together for a meeting and asked themselves - “ What are we doing because this man does many signs? ”
While these Jewish leaders had hardened their heart and willfully chose not to believe in Jesus, they still could not deny that Jesus performed many miracles.
Even trying to hide behind the wall of willful ignorance, it could not blind them to the visible, physical and tangible evidence that Jesus had done many incredible miracles that they themselves knew that only someone of God was able to do.
Many of the miracles Jesus did for people no doubt included family, relatives and friends of these Jewish leaders.
John, the writer of this book we are studying said Jesus’ miracles were so many they could not all be recorded.
“ And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen. “ John 21:25
While Jesus did these miracles and in His humanity gave God His Father the credit for giving Him the capability to do so, Jesus said that those of us who believe in Him will be able to do the sane miracles He did and even do greater works than what Jesus did;
“ Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. “ John 14:12
My friend, either Jesus lied to us or He told the truth here in this statement.
Personally, I do not think Jesus lied about anything.
Jesus clearly said that the person who can do the miracles He did and do even greater miracles than He did is the one who believes in Him;
“ He that believeth on me, “
Notice when Peter met the lame man at the temple gate he did not ask God to heal him but rather took the authority Jesus had told him He had given to him, because He was going to His Father, and Peter believed, and the lame man was healed.
“ Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.
And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple;
Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.
And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.
And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.
Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.
And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.
And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.
And all the people saw him walking and praising God:
And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him.
And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon's, greatly wondering.
And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk?
The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go.
But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you;
And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.
And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all. “ Acts 3:1-16
Here is what Peter clearly said in accordance with what Jesus said to him and any of us who believe in Him;
“ but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. “
While any miracle does come from God, Jesus said those who believe in Him can cause miracles to happen…as the way Peter worded it and believed, in the name of Jesus.
Today, most of us who do believe in Jesus unto salvation still have difficulty believing Jesus’ statement;
“ Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. “ John 14:12
On a worldwide scale, I do not know if such miracles as Jesus did are being done today.
I personally have had miracles the Lord did for me in my life that involved both literal physical healing and tangible matter situations in everyday life.
Lack of faith is one reason why the miracles Jesus did and greater miracles than He did are not done today.
Jesus commented about the time He returns if He would find faith on the earth;
“ I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? “ Luke 18:8
The other reason is a wrong motive.
James said clearly that the reason we do not get answers to prayer is because of a wrong motive in our heart in asking;
“ Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. “ James 4:3
John said if we have a pure motive in our heart we can expect answers to our prayers;
“ Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.
And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. “ 1 John 3:21-22
And this is not “ legalism “.
It is pleasing the Lord.
Be sure to pray for your brothers and sisters in Jesus throughout the world who are suffering persecution because of their faith in Jesus and those who are suffering in weather conditions and other natural catastrophes.
Tragedy can hit even those who believe in Jesus.
I pray for born again christians every morning while I drive to work.
I will continue with verse 48 in the next study.
“ Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him.
But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done. “
“ Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him. “
After such a miracle as this it would have been difficult not to believe.
“ But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done. “
While many believed and stayed with Mary and Lazarus, some went to tell the authorities what happened.
This same thing happened when Jesus came out of the tomb at His resurrection.
Not all but some of the soldiers went to the authorities and told them what happened.
“ Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done.
And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers,
Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept.
And if this come to the governor's ears, we will persuade him, and secure you.
So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day. “ Matthew 28:11-15
It is interesting that the Jewish authorities believed what the soldiers said.
Likewise, it is interesting that the authorities also believed what the people said about Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead.
It is too bad they did not direct their faith they had in the people and what they said about the details of Jesus’ and Lazarus’ resurrection, toward Jesus Himself.
Just as the soldiers who went and told the authorities about Jesus’ resurrection could not deny what they saw was real, so the ones who went and told the authorities about Jesus raising Lazarus could not deny it was for real.
However, having this knowledge did not save them.
My friend, just knowing - that is, having head knowledge that the Bible says Jesus is who He claims to be does not save us anymore than it did those who went and told the authorities of the things they witnessed.
Just knowing that the Bible says Jesus is the Son of God, is God, is our Lord and Savior, died for our sins, is the source of our righteousness, justification, forgiveness, redemption and our renewed relationship with God does not save us.
In order to be saved, we must acknowledge that we are sinners and that we live contrary to God’s moral values.
This acknowledgement only comes from the conviction of the Holy Spirit of God.
“ And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: “ John 16:8
This is something done in our heart.
If there is no conviction in the heart from someone’s preaching of the gospel then obviously the Holy Spirit is not involved in this kind of preaching since convicting us of our sin is clearly one of His roles in the Godhead, according to Jesus.
What is being preached is mere head knowledge.
I personally know evangelicals whose relationship with God is all in their head.
Since the Holy Spirit convicts our heart this is why Jesus said we must acknowledge our sin and repent.
The first thing Jesus said when He started preaching was to repent.
“ From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. “ Matthew 4:17
“ And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. “ Mark 1:15
Acknowlegement and repentance is a heart thing…not a head thing.
Witnessing these things, the resurrection of Jesus and Lazarus did nothing in the heart of the people who went and told the authorities.
It was merely an experience of head knowledge as an eyewitnessed account.
It changed nothing in their heart.
The soldiers accepted the money the Jewish authorities gave them to lie about Jesus’ resurrection.
The ones who told the authorities about Jesus raising Lazarus just added to their jealousy and hatred toward Jesus.
When we do come to believe in Jesus we have a relationship with God in our heart and faith is as well a heart thing - not a head thing.
Knowing the Lord is a heart thing - not a head thing.
Yes, Hosea did say;
“ My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
As they were increased, so they sinned against me: therefore will I change their glory into shame.
They eat up the sin of my people, and they set their heart on their iniquity. “ Hosea 4:6-8
Notice though, that as we do need head knowledge since obviously God gave us a brain, the point Hosea was getting at was still an issue of the heart;
“ and they set their heart on their iniquity. “
Having head knowledge without heart interaction is useless.
God deals with our heart, not our head.
It is interesting to me how Jesus said there will be people come to Him on the day of judgment who will use actual Biblical truths to try to convince Jesus they belong to Him.
“ Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. “ Matthew 7:21-23
What is interesting is that these people are probably among the 99% of evangelicalism today who reject these Biblical truths;
“ have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? “
having thought in their earthly life that these Biblical truths ceased after the death of the last apostle.
Now, all of a sudden, these once rejected Biblical truths they are hoping will keep them out of eternal hell - that is, if they can fool Jesus.
But I have to say that they are at least smart enough to know what the Bible really teaches and know these truth are in the Bible and at least make an attempt to mention them to Jesus as if they really did live in those Biblical truths.
This is head knowledge. There is no heart relationship with Jesus in them.
It will be their last attempt to try to avoid hell.
But Jesus of course, is smarter than they are and knows He was never in their heart.
Notice Jesus does not even argue with them.
He simply tells them to go to hell.
I will continue with verse 47 in the next study.
Always keep your faith in Jesus.
John 11:43-44 ( posted 4-23-13 )
“ And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.
And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go. “
“ And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. “
The Greek word “ ekraugasen “ translated “ he cried “ means to clamor - that is, to cry out with a loud sustained noise.
The Greek word “ megale “ translated “ with a loud “ means exceedingly, great, loud, high, large, mighty.
Jesus was very emotional when He called for Lazarus to come out of the grave.
If you remember in an earlier study we learned that Jesus cried over the death of Lararus.
“ Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.
When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled,
And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.
Jesus wept. “ John 11:32-35
What is interesting also is the fact that the Jews who came with Mary to Jesus called Jesus “ Lord “, just as Mary who already believed in Jesus, did.
“ They said unto him, Lord, come and see. “
They knew what Jesus was capable of doing.
They might have been some of the ones who believed in Jesus after He raised Lazarus.
If you remember in an earlier study we also learned that Jesus said Lazarus’s sickness was not unto death;
“ This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby. “ John 11:4
But then Jesus later said clearly that Lazarus died;
“ Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead. “ John 11:14
What Jesus meant was that Lazarus would not stay dead.
Lazarus could have been healed yes, but Jesus wanted to let him die so He could raise him from the dead literally to show everyone the power He had and prove that He Himself is the resurrection and the life as He said to Martha;
“ I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? “ John 11:25-26
Whether Lazarus had already gone to Paradise after physical death as those who believed in Jesus like Abraham did up until Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, is not certain.
Unlike the prophet Samuel who was annoyed that Saul summoned his spirit out of Paradise, Lazarus was not annoyed when Jesus called him back to life.
This is interesting but however this was able to happen, a witch was able to summon the spirit of the prophet Samuel from Paradise at Saul’s request;
“ Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and enquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor.
And Saul disguised himself, and put on other raiment, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night: and he said, I pray thee, divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring me him up, whom I shall name unto thee.
And the woman said unto him, Behold, thou knowest what Saul hath done, how he hath cut off those that have familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land: wherefore then layest thou a snare for my life, to cause me to die?
And Saul sware to her by the LORD, saying, As the LORD liveth, there shall no punishment happen to thee for this thing.
Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel.
And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice: and the woman spake to Saul, saying, Why hast thou deceived me? for thou art Saul.
And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth.
And he said unto her, What form is he of? And she said, An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself.
And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do.
Then said Samuel, Wherefore then dost thou ask of me, seeing the LORD is departed from thee, and is become thine enemy? “ 1 Samuel 28:7-16
Samuel was not raised like Lazarus was.
Samuel appeared somehow wearing a coat or robe of some kind.
Lazarus was raised from the dead inside his earthly body.
Samuel did not want to leave Paradise.
Lazarus had no objection coming back to life even in his earthly physical body once again, which makes me wonder if he remained in his body maybe even possibly knowing Jesus would bring him back to life again.
If Lazarus did remain in his dead corpse until Jesus raised him back to life, this might have been what Jesus meant when He said;
“ Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. “ John 11:11
Looking at the Holy Bible in its entirety, there is no soul sleep - that is, lingering in the grave after
physical death taught in Scripture.
Paul clearly said;
“ We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. “ 2 Corinthians 5:8
John wrote in Revelation;
“ And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: “ Revelation 6:9
“ And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. “ Revelation 20:4
“ And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go. “
Whether Lazarus waited in his dead corpse or actually had gone on to Paradise, the writer John of the book of John we are studying clearly said under the divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God that Lazarus was dead.
I will continue with verse 45 in the next study.
Always keep your faith in Jesus.
“ Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.
And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. “
“ Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. “
It is interesting how people obeyed Jesus when He told them to do something even when it would have been contrary to normal procedure. Even though they did not believe in Jesus, they knew He had authority and spoke with authority.
If you remember in my earlier study we learned that the officers made this statement about Jesus;
“ The officers answered, Never man spake like this man. “ John 7:46
Also, if you remember in my earlier study we learned when Jesus turned water into wine His mother said;
“ His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. “ John 2:5
The obedient response in removing the stone that covered dead corpses and the smell of the dead corpses when Jesus told them to, is no surprise.
“And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, “
There are many times the Bible says Jesus lifted His eyes but this time for sure was with His head tilted back and His eyes looking up into the sky toward Heaven.
Jesus said the rich man also lifted his eyes but it was not to look up at the sky toward Heaven but rather to see Abraham far away from the fire he was doomed to spend eternity in..
“ And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. “ Luke 16:23
“ Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. “
Jesus is a very complex individual.
If you remember in my earlier study when I started the book of John we learned that Jesus is literally God in the flesh;
“ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The same was in the beginning with God.
All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. “ John 1:1-13
“ And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. “ John 1:14-15
Jesus made this declaration when He said;
“ I and my Father are one. “ John 10:30
Consequently human beings are not and never were “children of God. “
This is a misconception based on the belief that since God created us we are automatically His children.
Jesus declared Himself to literally be the only begotten child of God.
“ For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. “ John 3:16
Jesus was literally conceived in the womb of Mary by God the Holy Spirit;
“ But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. “ Matthew 1:20
Since Jesus was conceived by God the Holy Spirit Jesus is therefore God in the flesh.
As a human being Jesus looked up to the sky toward Heaven and prayed to His Father, God.
When a human being comes to believe in Jesus, it is then and only then we become children of God through the adoption the Holy Spirit does with our soul and not only are we children of God but also children of Abraham and heirs of the promise God made to Abraham because of his faith in Jesus…if you are reading my studies on the book of Romans.
“ For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. “ Romans 8:15
“ And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. “ Romans 8:23
“ To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. “ Galatians 4:5
“ Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, “ Ephesians 1:5
Notice Paul did not say we are predestinated to be saved but rather we are predestinated to become children of God when we believe in Jesus Christ.
Salvation is still for whosoever will.
Staying saved to the end of physical life is also a choice we must make…for whosoever will.
“ …And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. ” Revelation 22:17
Since believing in Jesus is required to be a child of God, this is why Jesus told His disciples who believed in Him to address God as “ Father “ when they asked Jesus how to pray.
“ And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.
And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. “ Luke 11:1-2
When we come to believe in Jesus we are children of God. God is our spiritual Father now…no church pastor or any church leader is our spiritual father.
This is why Jesus said not to call any man our father as a spiritual father.
“ Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,
Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat:
All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.
For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.
But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,
And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,
And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.
But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.
And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.
Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. “ Matthew 23:1-10
People who call church leaders “ father “ as in a spiritual reference cannot be of “ the faith “ and are not followers of Jesus nor believers in Jesus since Jesus ( the very one they claim to believe in ) warned us not to do this.
As a matter of fact, the word pastor itself is not a title but a ministry called and divinely appointed by God and placed by Him in the church body of Christ.
Paul, James, John and Peter were never addressed as “ pastor “ in the Holy Bible.
Paul was called “ brother Paul “ not pastor Paul.
This is why Jesus said to those of us who believe in Him;
“ and all ye are brethren. “
Even the word “ apostle “ was not meant to be a title but rather a divine calling and divinely appointed ministry within the body of Christ, the church.
Peter did not address Paul as apostle Paul but rather in accordance to what Jesus said to do, he called him " brother Paul " .
“ And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. “ 2 Peter 3:15-16
Church leaders who demand to be called pastor, reverend, master, or whatever, are proud, arrogant and in love with themselves. Even the word " saint " was not a title. Nobody ever called Paul " saint Paul " in the Holy Bible.
This is why Jesus warned about the hypocrite Pharisees who practiced this method of self-exaltation and that would be all the reward they would ever get…the momentary glorying in themselves in the eye of the public.
This is why Jesus continued on to say;
“ But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.
And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. “ Matthew 23:11-12
James said that God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.
“…Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. ” James 4:6
I’ve noticed when people write me they are not sure what to call me.
If you are a believer in Jesus, call me brother Wayne or just Wayne.
But never late to dinner. LOL!
“ And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. “
Many times Jesus says things, asks things and does things to get a response.
As He said;
“ but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. “
I will continue with verse 43 in the next study.